February 9, 2015 / 10:27 AM / 3 years ago

Mauritius 2014 sugar output hit by strike, heavy rains

PORT LOUIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Mauritius estimated sugar production for 2014 fell 4 percent compared to forecasts, the Chamber of Agriculture said on Monday, blaming a workers strike and heavy rains for disrupting the harvest.

Sugar, a centuries-old pillar of the economy, accounts for roughly 1.2 percent of the Indian Ocean state's $10 billion gross domestic product.

The Indian Ocean island's 2014 sugar output was estimated to come in at 400,000 tonnes last year from a previous forecast of 415,000 tonnes, the chamber said.

The harvest season, which typically extends from June to December, was affected when around 4,000 sugar workers stopped work last November demanding more pay and then further disrupted by heavy rains in the first weeks of January, the chamber said.

Mauritius sugar producers also saw profits fall last year after global prices for the sweetener dipped due to a huge overhang of stocks after four straight years of surpluses. (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by James Macharia)

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